Continuous Liquid Interface Production
Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP; originally Continuous Liquid Interphase Printing) is a proprietary method of 3D printing that uses photo polymerization to create smooth-sided solid objects of a wide variety of shapes using resins. It was invented by Joseph DeSimone, Alexander and Nikita Ermoshkin and Edward T. Samulski and was originally owned by EiPi Systems, but is now being developed by Carbon.
The continuous process begins with a pool of liquid photopolymer resin. Part of the pool bottom is transparent to ultraviolet light (the "window"). An ultraviolet light beam shines through the window, illuminating the precise cross-section of the object. The light causes the resin to solidify. The object rises slowly enough to allow resin to flow under and maintain contact with the bottom of the object. An oxygen-permeable membrane lies below the resin, which creates a “dead zone” (persistent liquid interface) preventing the resin from attaching to the window (photopolymerization is inhibited between the window and the polymerizer).
CLIP objects have smooth sides, unlike 2015 commercial 3D printers, whose sides are typically rough to the touch. Some resins produce objects that are rubbery and flexible, that could not be produced with earlier methods.
Patents and trademarks
CLIP was, at the time the original patent was filed, an acronym for Continuous Liquid Interphase Printing, described in two patents, titled 'Continuous liquid interphase printing' and 'Method and apparatus for three-dimensional fabrication with feed through carrier'. Both patents were filed February 10, 2014, by EiPi Systems, Inc as Applicant with the following individuals titled as 'inventors': Joseph DeSimone, Alexander Ermoshkin, Nikita Ermoshkin, and Edward T. Samulski.
A journal article was published in Science detailing the groups' findings. At a TED talk in March 2015, DeSimone demonstrated a 3D-printer prototype using CLIP technology and produced a relatively complex object in less than 10 minutes, relatively the majority of the conference. DeSimone cited a scene in the 1992 film Terminator 2: Judgement Day, where the T-1000 machine reforms itself from a metallic pool, as an inspiration for the technology's development.
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- Saxena, Shalini (19 March 2015). "New nonstop 3D printing process takes only minutes instead of hours". Ars Technica. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
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- Tumbleston, J. R.; Shirvanyants, D.; Ermoshkin, N.; Janusziewicz, R.; Johnson, A. R.; Kelly, D.; Chen, K.; Pinschmidt, R.; Rolland, J. P.; Ermoshkin, A.; Samulski, E. T.; DeSimone, J. M. (16 March 2015). "Continuous liquid interface production of 3D objects". Science. 347 (6228): 1349–1352. doi:10.1126/science.aaa2397. PMID 25780246.
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- Wakefield, Jane (17 March 2015). "TED 2015: Terminator-inspired 3D printer 'grows' objects". BBC News. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
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